Ukraine official: Drone attack exposes Russia as ‘paper tiger’

  • Moscow says residential buildings were damaged by drone attacks Tuesday
  • Russia's defense ministry blamed the "Kyiv regime"; Ukraine denied responsibility
  • An adviser said the attack exposes Russia's inability to defend itself

(NewsNation) — A Ukrainian official denied the country had any direct involvement in a drone attack Tuesday in Moscow, but said the incident exposes Russia as a “paper tiger” unable to defend itself.

The rare drone attack jolted Moscow on Tuesday morning, lightly damaging some buildings and leading to the evacuation of others.

The Russian defense ministry said five drones were shot down and the systems of three others were jammed, causing them to veer off course. It called the incident a “terrorist attack” by the “Kyiv regime.”

Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister, denied the allegation.

“We have no idea who is behind these attacks,” Sak said Tuesday on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.” “What we can’t say with certainty is that these attacks, as well as all those other attacks and incidents that are taking place inside Russia recently, they’re all a direct result of Russia’s unprovoked aggression and genocide against our own people.”

The drone attack follows another earlier this month on the Kremlin, as well as an assault in the Belgorod region of Russia that Moscow claims was conducted by Ukrainian saboteurs. Kyiv says it was the work of Russian partisans.

Nonetheless, Sak says the latest incident on Tuesday, and the others preceding it, expose Russia’s inability to defend itself.

“The whole world can see now that Russia is indeed not a superpower, it’s a paper tiger,” he said. “They’re not even capable of defending their own capital from drones.”

A senior Russian lawmaker, Andrei Kartapolov, told Russian business news site RBC the purpose of the attacks was to unnerve the Russian people. “It’s an intimidation act aimed at the civilian population,” RBC quoted him as saying. “It’s designed to create a wave of panic.”

Sak also suggested the drone attack could be a false-flag operation conducted by Russia in an effort to garner support for the war.

“Russia is losing on the battlefield. They’ve not had any military success for a very, very long time, so they are beginning to struggle to convince their own people why this aggressive war is necessary, why Russians have to continue to die,” Sak said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow’s air defense “worked in a satisfactory way,” but added it was “clear what we need to do to plug the gaps” in the system.

“The Kyiv regime … attempts to intimidate Russia, Russian citizens and strikes at civilian buildings,” he said during a public event. “It is, of course, a clear indication of terrorist activity.”

In response, Sak called Putin’s claims a “crazy statement.”

“This is a very Orwellian statement because the chief terrorist on the planet is accusing its victims of being terrorists,” Sak said. “This is the man who has an international arrest warrant issued against him … so why should we care now what he says?”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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